Canadian band Striker released their fourth full-length album Stand In The Fire earlier this month and it certainly kicks 2016 off with a huge bang. Some have called Striker “metal revivalists” and I certainly cannot disagree. They have greatly raised the bar on the New Wave of Heavy Metal.
Forming in Edmonton in 2007, they released their first EP Road Warrior in 2009, with their first long-playing effort Eyes In The Night coming the following year. The international buzz of these releases set Striker on both Canadian and European touring cycles until finally landing in Nashville, Tennessee to work with legendary record producer Michael Wagener on their 2012 release Armed To The Teeth. More touring ensued, including a support slot for Metallica‘s two sold out shows in the band’s hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
2014’s City Of Gold saw the band playing the major European festivals as well as headlining smaller ones. This album cycle, in my humble opinion, produced a large leap in the band’s growth and development of their sound and style.
Striker has continued to blaze their own trail by releasing their new album on their own label, Record Breaking Records. I have been living with this album now for a few days and it is totally scratching my itch! Stand In The Fire is a powerful shot of melodic heavy metal in the vein of Anthrax, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest with hints of Armored Saint and Fates Warning.
The album opener, “Phoenix Lights” kicks off with a precision drum fill and continues with blazing riffs and leads and powerful, melodic verses and chorus. Track 2, “Out For Blood” even comes equipped with a saxophone solo, but the song is so strong that it just works! Truth be told, every track on Stand In The Fire could be the opener. There is no filler. More tracks of note include the single “Too Late”, “The Iron Never Lies”, and “United”. There is also a blistering instrumental called “Escape From Shred City” featuring Arsis guitarist Brandon Ellis. Great album. Great band. Watch for Striker on tour in 2016!